G2 seconds at Fair Grounds for Proxy & Santin
Proxy acquitted himself well on his return to Graded company when chasing home Olympiad in the G2 New Orleans Classic, with Santin also finishing a good second in the G2 Muniz Memorial Classic on the same Fair Grounds card on Saturday, 26 March.
Tapit colt Proxy had shown a high level of form for Michael Stidham at the same course during the early part of 2021, notably chasing home Mandaloun in the G2 Risen Star Stakes, before injury interrupted his three-year-old campaign.
After breaking on terms under Brian Hernandez Jr, Proxy raced in third behind Promise Keeper and Olympiad until Super Stock relegated the Godolphin runner to a clear fourth after the first three furlongs.
Proxy rallied wide turning in and stayed on well in the straight, moving up to second entering the final furlong. He hit the line strongly without challenging Olympiad for the lead, coming home two lengths behind the impressive winner of the nine-furlong contest.
Michael Stidham said: “We were very pleased with Proxy’s effort. We knew that Olympiad was the horse to beat and he just got the jump on us. Proxy made a good run but wasn’t quite good enough.
“We will nominate him for the G2 Oaklawn Handicap next month (Saturday, 23 April) and will also have a look at a couple of other options, hoping to pick what we feel is the best spot.”
Santin backed up a promising fourth on his seasonal return in the G3 Fair Grounds Stakes last month as he went down by two and a half lengths to all-the-way winner Two Emmys in the G2 Muniz Memorial Classic.
Lining up over the same nine furlongs, Santin tacked across from his high draw to settle a length and a half behind Two Emmys. The Brendan Walsh-trained four-year-old attempted to close turning for home but could not press Two Emmys, who increased his advantage in the straight.
Santin saw off the threat of Cavalry Charge passing the furlong-pole and battled all the way to the line for Tyler Gaffalione to record a second Graded Stakes placing following a neck second in November’s G1 Hollywood Derby.
Brendan Walsh said: “Santin ran a good race. Two Emmys is a G1 winner, who got the lead all to himself and they couldn’t get by him. I’m very pleased with Santin and think that he will move forward again for this. He is still lacking a bit of experience but I feel that he is getting there.”